Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WATCH: Rep. McSally Leads Congressional Women Carrying The Day Fighting Military Nude Photo Sharing

(UPDATE, 11:00am: The bill passed one minute after this article was posted, 418-0.)

Arizona Representative Martha McSally (R-CD2) led a bipartisan group of female House members on Tuesday in a unanimous "debate" of a bill aimed at tightening up the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice in the wake of the Marines United nude photo sharing scandal. A lopsided vote is expected later today.

The debate's optics were strange, as no other Republicans and no men from either party spoke about the PRIvATE Act sponsored by McSally. Kelly Schibi, her Communications Director, tells Arizona's Politics that that was an unfortunate timing issue because of a large number of committee hearings/meetings taking place at the same time. She points to the almost equal number of GOP and Democratic co-sponsors - which does include a lot of men. (Arizona co-sponsors are Reps. Trent Franks (R-CD8), Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9), Ruben Gallego (D-CD7) and Tom O'Halleran (D-CD1).)

McSally - who served as a pilot in the USAF - powerfully opened and closed the 22-minute debate*, explaining why it is important to make the nude photo-sharing that Marines engaged in on Facebook explicitly action-worthy under the UCMJ.  More than 30 Marines are facing courts martial proceedings.

Schibi indicates that the vote will take place later today. Unfortunately, McSally will not be there to vote "aye". McSally is returning to Tucson on an emergency basis due to the serious illness of a close friend.

Here is the text of the bill, which will head to the Senate after today's passage.

* "Debate" only in the nominal sense. No one spoke in opposition.

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